A House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy hearing on the potential harms of vaping grew heated Tuesday after Rep. Rashida Tlaib accused a witness of being involved in a “conspiracy” because she winked at one of the Republican members of the subcommittee.
The Michigan Democrat was combative throughout her grilling of Vicki Porter, a longtime smoker invited to testify by Republican committee members, Fox News reported.
Near the end of the hearing, Tlaib asked Porter about her personal politics.
“You call yourself a converted conservative and a reformed Marxist. Are you a conspiracy theorist?” the freshman congresswoman, and member of the Squad, said.
Porter replied: “I think my politics are entirely irrelevant to this hearing.”
Tlaib responded by asking why the witness was “winking at one of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle?”
“Because I know Glenn Grothman,” Porter said. “He introduced me, he’s a friend of mine.”
“I didn’t know what the winking was, ‘cause I thought maybe there was something, like a conspiracy thing going on there. I didn’t know,” Tlaib responded.
Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI): “Scientists [say] secondhand smoking is worse than directly smoking cigarettes” pic.twitter.com/rcPvH2mcFN
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) September 24, 2019
At one point during the hearing, Tlaib claimed, “Scientists [say] secondhand smoking is worse than directly smoking cigarettes.”
Rashida Tlaib, firebrand?
Tlaib is known for a fiery rhetorical style some critics find abrasive.
In July, many conservatives mocked the Michigan lawmaker after a video resurfaced showing Tlaib jumping up and down and screaming as she was forcibly forcibly removed from a 2016 Donald Trump campaign event.
In the 10-second clip, security guards escort Tlaib out of Trump’s August speech to the Detroit Economic Forum, with one holding her arm. Near the exit, the Michigan Democrat turns to assembled supporters of then-candidate Trump and yells, “You guys are crazy.”
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) July 20, 2019
“You’re an animal,” a man retorts. “Get a job.”
As Tlaib later explained in an op-ed about the incident for the Detroit Free Press, she had joined a group of activists in disrupting the address.
She said that she felt compelled to cause a scene because of Trump’s “hate-filled rhetoric and tactics,” and compared herself to Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks.
- Rep. Rashida Tlaib questions a witness during a House Oversight Committee hearing on e-cigarettes on Sept. 24, 2019.: Screen grab